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RR 415: Code Free Developer Interview with Pete Holiday

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Panel

  • Charles Max Wood
  • Dave Kimura
  • Andrew Mason
  • Nate Hopkins

With Special Guest: Pete Holiday

Episode Summary

Special Guest Pete Holiday is the director of engineering at a company called Samsara and specializes interviewing software engineers. The panel begins by talking about some of the trends they see in tech interviews, specifically the move towards code-heavy interviews. Pete does not think take home tests accurately simulate a work environment, and shares his preferred technique. The panel discusses the most important things to look for in an interview, such as how good of a fit they will be with the company culture. They discuss the importance of hiring junior developers, some of the ethics of internships and compensating for take home projects.

They turn the conversation to interview questions and what should be asked to evaluate a candidate. They go through some potential questions and methods for coming up for interview questions. Pete shares the interview process he designed. The panel talks about the importance of resumes. On the subject of resumes, they discuss how to avoid unconscious bias and maintain diversity in the workplace. They give a few tips for people being interviewed, such as doing interviews to keep you skills fresh, even if you aren’t necessarily looking for a job.  

The show ends with the panel recapping the most important points of their discussion. They emphasize that as the interviewer, it is imperative that you know what you want and are looking for in a new hire. When you’re doing the interviews, tech skills are important but the fit with the company is more important, and it’s your job to get all of the right information out of the candidate. People interviewing are encouraged to proofread their resumes, ask questions to find out if the company is a right fit, and not be afraid to ask for some accommodations in an interview.

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Episode source

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